How to clean your shower head: a simple 1-hour scientific hack to defocus – CNET

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A zippered storage bag, a rubber band, water and either CLR cleaning solution or white vinegar – plus an hour – mean that the shower head is no longer clogged.

Dale Smith / CNET

If you have noticed that the water flow from your once flowing shower head is now only a trickle, the mineral build-up from hard water is probably to blame. Fortunately, you can fix this problem with minimal effort. You only need a little over an hour and some household items.

First, collect a zipped food storage bag (like one from Ziploc or Hefty) and a sturdy rubber band. Next, either find a calcium, lime, and rust removal solution (like the CLR brand) – or a bottle of white vinegar if necessary – and set it aside for about 60 minutes so science can do the work for you.

According to the Water Quality Association, the problem with your jets is due to hard water, which has a high content of dissolved solids – especially calcium and magnesium. Over time, these chemicals combine with the metal and plastic in your shower head, causing a buildup that appears as pieces of crust around the water jets.


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As this plumbing plate grows over time, the holes start to close and the water has to work harder to shoot out. Finally, if ignored, it can completely stop your leak. Shower filters are one way to avoid the problemHowever, if you want to open an existing clog, you don't have to call a plumber, buy expensive replacement hardware, or take an entire afternoon to fix the problem.

How to detoxify your shower head.

1. Collect your cleaning supplies

First collect your supplies. If you have a small shower head, a sandwich-sized bag should be enough, but for larger hardware, you may need to whip out a gallon bag. You need a rubber band to attach it, and water can get heavy. Make sure to use a strong one. The type used to hold products such as asparagus or broccoli together is perfect, but your regular office supply rubber band will do, although you may need more than one, especially for a gallon bag.

For the cleaning solution, you need a 50/50 solution of CLR household cleaner (available in most Walmart and Amazon grocery stores) or white vinegar (the stuff in your closet is enough) and plain old shower water.

2. Soak the dirt

Fill the bag halfway with CLR or white vinegar and then insert the shower head into the bag as well. Fasten it with the rubber bands, gently turn up the water to shower so that the bag fills the rest of the way, and mix up the solution. Whatever you do, do not crank the shower at full speed, otherwise the sudden pressure can accidentally throw your plastic bag over your bathroom.

Next, set a timer for 60 minutes, either on your phone or with your smart home assistant. Here is How to set multiple timers with Google Home, as well as with Amazon's Alexa on Echo devices, Now go Relax with a podcast for the next hour.


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3. Wipe, rinse and (hopefully) do not repeat

After the timer runs out, remove the bag from your shower head and let the cleaning solution drain into the drain. Throw the bag in the trash and wipe your shower fittings with a damp cloth.

Then the moment of truth: turn on your shower (this time at full speed) and see how much stronger and more even it sprays. If for some reason some spouts are still clogged, you can repeat this process at any time. For most clogged shower heads, however, one round should suffice.

If you still have a lot of other cleaning jobs to do after your vacation, check them out 14 cleaning tools that make cleaning easy and maybe even fun, Don't worry if you are busy because we have Six tricks and tips to cut your cleaning time in half, also. If you have people who come to stay, don't forget to clean the electronics they'll be using. Just follow our instructions Instructions for the correct cleaning of touch screens So that you don't damage your equipment.

Originally released last year. Updated regularly.